MK Stiv Shapir
MK Stiv ShapirFlash90

Labor MK Stav Shafir on Thursday asked the Knesset Legal Advisor to disqualify Finance Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky from discussions on budget allocations for the Housing Ministry's Settlement Division. Shafir claims that Slomiansky's involvement in organizations that advocate for the settlemen of Jews in Judea and Samaria constitutes a conflict of interest, adding that there was no way Slomiansky could remain objective on the matter, matter, given his background.

Shapir was joined in her call by MKs Yaakov Litzman, Moshe Gafni, Erel Margalit, Michal Biran, Isaac Cohen and Issawi Frij over what they said was evidence of “favoritism” on the part of Slomiansky and other Jewish Home MKs and officials for better and more budgetary allocations to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The evidence cited included a study based on official data of the Ministry of Finance showing that in 2014, an organization called the Association of Community Renewal Fund in Israel, headed by the chairman of the Jewish Home's Constitution Committee Rabbi Daniel Tropper, had received NIS 574 500 from the Settlement Division's budget.

Troper has in the past served as chairperson of Jewish Home member recruitment campaigns and was responsible for organizing the party's primaries, the report said.

In addition, the report said that the Sha'alei Torah educational organization, which operates elementary and high school programs around the country and is headed by Rabbi Rahamim Nissimi, had received NIS 815,000 from the Settlement Division. Rabbi Nissimi ran in the primaries of the Jewish Home in 2013 and was assigned 16th place on the party's Knesset list. According to estimates, he signed up some 3,000 people to the party, the report said.

In her request to the Knesset Legal Advisor,Shafir said that the report raised serious suspicion of conflict of interest on Slomiansky's part. “Despite our repeated requests, no reports have been made to the Finance Committee on the activities of the Settlement Division and its investments in associations and Hesder yeshivas. Instead, they told us over and over again the division invests its money in developing areas. Slomiansky has not seen fit to perform due diligence activities on the organizations that received funding, or to inform the members of the true goals of the committee that the committee approved the money transfer,” adding that in the MKs opinion, there were grounds enough to ban Slomiansky from discussions on the matter.